Three weeks ago I was happily playing in the creek. My broken toe had healed. I had just taken a cool plunge in a 60 degree emerald pool with the bright blue sky above and red rocks towering all around. I was in total bliss, until I watched, somewhat nonplussed, as my five year old self took over my body and mind.

A rock I call “my rock” was vacant! It sits in the center of the creek, carved out with a perfect hollow for my body and plenty of room for my backpack and other stuff. Little waterfalls trickle off to either side creating a sweet and soothing melody. It is idyllic – truly a little piece of heaven! Normally laying on “my rock” would have been just an added bonus on an already beautiful morning.

To my five year old self, that somehow possessed me that morning, it was a holy mission to claim that rock before anyone else got on it. I felt the carefree joy of that little person within me rock hopping and racing for the destination… until she slipped on some moss. Suddenly I was left sitting in the creek, barely able to breathe because I’d knocked several ribs out of place. Ow.

The experience was so crazy that I just sat there and laughed inwardly because laughing out loud sent shooting pains through my entire body. What a fine mess I had created! Right then and there, rather than bemoaning my temporary insanity, I decided to get busy and begin to heal myself. A beautiful flat patch of smooth red rock in the creek offered me a place to sit while cold water flowed over me up to my neck. Sitting there in the stream, I focused with all my being on feeling good again. I didn’t waste time beating myself up. I didn’t waste time worrying about what could happen to me. I just sat, breathed as slowly and deeply as I could, and imagined feeling wonderful.

I was bruised, bleeding, and in a lot of pain, but suddenly the beauty of the moment struck me. When had I ever sat upright, neck-deep, meditating in the flowing stream? Never! It was surreal. The hummingbirds were flying nearby. Dragonflies danced overhead. The sounds of the water were voices whispering a lullaby.

My focus quickly shifted from pain to bliss. Suddenly I could breathe again. The cool water was calming the bruises and stopping the bleeding. I sat there focusing, not on my pain, but on such exquisite beauty until I suddenly realized I was a bit stiff but able to get up, move, breathe, and even pop one of the ribs back in by myself. With the help of my favorite energy worker I healed in record time, and was back hiking within just a few weeks.

I’m not suggesting you get crazy like I did just to show yourself the power of focus! However, it really works!

Every time I have a physical challenge I focus on being well. I focus on all the good around me and how much I can enjoy – limitations and all – and in that happy reality, I heal.

Every time I have a financial challenge I focus on the abundance of goodness in my life with gratitude, and miracles appear.

Every time I have an emotional challenge, I focus on what I’m learning, what good can come of it, and I grow stronger in my light.

Our focus is like a laser that carves out our lives. It isn’t always easy to shift. The present moment can be quite compelling if we’re not happy with it. Nonetheless, there is always joy available in the present, and an infinite array of possibilities we can focus on within.

When you can focus on the slightest vibration of goodness, health, beauty, abundance, or joy right here and now, it can transform just about anything!

Here are some pointers to use your focus for positive change….

1. Catch yourself when you’re focusing on something you don’t want

The first step to changing your focus is to notice when you are focusing on things you don’t want. There’s a simple way to know – Your thoughts won’t make you feel good. Spend an entire day committed to just noticing which thoughts make you feel good and which ones make you feel bad.

2. Practice “changing the channel”

When you catch yourself thinking about something you don’t want, imagine you’re watching a TV show that someone else chose for you. Imagine taking the remote control and changing to a better show – one with happy thoughts, happy expectations, or a more positive outlook.

Or if you like, when you catch yourself focusing on things you don’t want, stop immediately and focus on what you do. Really get into it. Make the good focus more juicy and compelling than the negative one.

3. Set your focus in the mornings

When you arise, decide how you’d like to feel at the end of the day. What would you like to have accomplished? Who do you want to be today? Imagine that. Feel it. Think of that throughout the day. That’s using the power of focus for good!

It can be frustrating at first to see how easily we focus on things we don’t want, but in time, you can train your brain to focus as you wish. In doing so, you reclaim your right to create the reality you wish for our lives, rather than the one you’re living now, or the one the world would create for you.

Now that feels like freedom!

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